Driving Guide (tips) in Ipoh, Malaysia
Ok, so you have decided to travel in Ipoh (or Malaysia) by driving. Then now, you need a driving guide or some driving tips to travel smoothly in Ipoh, Malaysia. It's essential to obey the rules and don't get yourself into trouble.
Let's see what is in this little driving guide that I come out with:
First of all, you need a driving license to drive in Malaysia.
If you don't have an international driving license, a local driving license from your origin country is all that you need. With this local driving license, you can drive through out Malaysia legally for 3 months.
After that, you'll need to take place for driving test to get a Malaysia driving license. And this topic should be out of concern for now. Thus it is not in the scope of this driving guide.
About road condition, there are free road and expressway/highway with toll. For suburban road, without a speed limit road sign, the default speed limit is 90km/hr. For highway, speed limit is between 90-110km/hr. In Malaysia, driving lane is on the left and driver seat is on the right hand side of the car.
Paying for Toll
When you reach a toll at the expressway/highway, there are few types of payment lanes. For instance, cash ("Tunai" in Malay), Touch N Go and Smart Tag.
Touch N GO is a prepaid card used for most of the transportation payment in Malaysia.
And Smart Tag is just using Touch N Go with a device, where you don't need to stop by the toll and swipe the card for payment manually. With the special device, Touch N Go card is scanned automatically when your car passes by the toll.
So, if you are a foreigner, the "Tunai" lane should be your choice.
Typically, there are two types of car park meters in Ipoh.
Firstly, individual car park meter, which is placed at each parking slot. You just need to insert coins and straight away the time started to countdown.
Another newer type of car park meter is a central meter. When you park your car, you can notice there is a number on the parking slot with an arrow. You just need to follow the arrow (left or right) to the central car park meter. And then press the car park slot number on the touch screen, you will get to see the remaining parking time for that particular parking slot, and you can insert coins for parking now.
Start from 1st of September 2006, new parking payment system is adopted, which is the coupon system. You need to pay for parking at places where you can see a red signboard with a blue-white "P" logo, even though there is no car park meter around.
The old individual car park meter will be removed step by step. But the new central car park meter will be reserved. So, when there is a central car park meter, you can choose either to use the meter or the coupon system. If the machine is not working, you'll have to use the coupon anyway.
There are 3 types of coupon:
- the yellow coloured coupon is for half an hour parking (30 cents), 5 coupons per set (RM1.50);
- the red coloured coupon is for an hour parking (60 cents), 5 coupons per set (RM3.00);
- the blue coloured coupon is for a whole day parking (RM4), 5 coupons per set (RM20.00).
You can buy these coupons at places act as agents, such as grocery store, handphone store, comic store, traditional medicinal materials store, restaurant etc.
There are 5 columns that you have to scratch in order to use the parking coupon correctly.
First, you need to scratch for the year, month and day of the parking day. Next, you need to scratch the columns of hour and minute, which represent the time you started to park your car.
After this, remember to put the coupon on the dashboard, where it can be easily spotted by the authorities. And you're done now!
What time should you pay for parking? You should make sure to pay for public parking from Monday to Saturday, 8am until 6pm. Sunday and public holidays are free parking.
On some occasions, for example when you go for bean sprout chicken at the Low Wong Restaurant at night, it should be free parking, but there will be some guys around, sort of taking care of the car parking. They will ask for some money, and it is advisable to pay 20 cents to RM1.
Their activity is illegal but people will just pay to avoid getting into trouble, such as get some scratches on your car etc. Anyway, it's your choice to follow the advice in this driving guide or not.
All petrol stations are self service, except few at those small villages. You need to pay at the counter before you can pump up your car with petrol.
The standard pricing through out the peninsular of Malaysia for RON petrol 97 is 180 cents per liter, RON petrol 92 is 170 cents per liter and diesel is 170 cents per liter. (As of 2nd January 2009)
The petrol/diesel price will be revised roughly on a monthly basis by the government. Re-visit this driving guide for update.
Finally, it's about the road sign. All of the road signs are in Malay language, except some of them in Penang Island. A English version is needed for those who don't know the Malay language.
So, I put up some examples in this driving guide for your reference:
|GUNAKAN GEAR RENDAH
||Use Low Gear
|IKUT KIRI KECUALI MEMOTONG
||Keep Left Unless Overtaking
|KENDERAAN BERAT SILA IKUT KIRI
||Heavy Vehicle, Please Keep Left
|PEMBINAAN DI HADAPAN
|SUSUR KELUAR KE
|ZON HAD LAJU DI HADAPAN
||Speed Limit Zone Ahead
In addition, road signs are in different color schemes for different meanings/purposes.
- Green color is for expressway/highway usage
- Blue color is for federal/state/municipal road usage
- Orange color is for road constructions/safety usage
Talking on handphone (mobile phone) while you are driving is illegal in Malaysia. However, it is legal if you use an earphone or loudspeaker.
Start from 1st of January 2009, all car passengers have to secure their safety belts. (Not only front seats passengers, but back seats passengers too.) From January to 30th of June 2009, anyone who failed to do that will be fined for RM300. From 1st of July 2009 onwards, one can be fined up to RM2000, jailed a maximum of one year, or both.
Just for your information (although it is not about driving), there is no specific rule that you need to follow when you want to go for cycling, except the basic traffic rules. Neither license nor safety wears required.
What's more that you wish to read in this driving guide? Suggest it through the contact form.
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